SEBRING, Fla. (WFLA) — A Sebring man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexually abusing a child, according to the State Attorney’s Office.

A Highlands County jury sentenced Daniel Meekins on March 25 for lewd molestation after he pleaded guilty to the crime in February.

The State Attorney’s Office said Meekins abused the child multiple times and tried to flee the country before police could catch him.

However, a Sebring police sergeant managed to find him while he was packing a van for his departure.

The victim’s family said they supported Meekins’ decision to plead guilty since it kept the child from having to testify in public.

Meekins’ 30-year prison sentence will also include 30 years of probation afterward.